The Rare Earths Monthly Metals Index (MMI) fell 2.7% for the July MMI reading.
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First shipment establishes new US-EU rare earths supply chain
Energy Fuels Inc. and Neo Performance Materials Inc. announced that they have executed the first shipment of mixed rare earth carbonate from a mill in Utah to a separation facility in Estonia.
On July 7, Energy Fuels announced the first shipment, containing approximately 20 metric tons of the mixed rare earth carbonate, from the White Mesa Mill in Utah. The material was en route to Neo Performance Materials’ rare earths separation facility.
The announcement represents the start of a fledgling U.S.-E.U. rare earths supply chain. Both the U.S. and the E.U. have long sought to mitigate dependence on China, which dominates an overwhelming majority of rare earths mining and refining.
The shipment marked the first of an expected 15 containers of carbonate to be sent to the Estonia facility, Energy Fuels said in the July 7 announcement.
“Additional shipments of RE Carbonate are expected as Energy Fuels continues to process natural monazite sand ore mined in Georgia (U.S.) by Chemours for both the rare earth elements and naturally occurring uranium that it contains,” Energy Fuels said.
Monazite is produced as a byproduct of existing heavy mineral sands mining, Energy Fuels said. The material also contains naturally occurring uranium that Energy Fuels recovers for use in the generation of carbon-free nuclear energy, the company added.
Furthermore, the companies announced the signing of a contract for a definitive supply agreement.
“Under the Agreement, Colorado-based Energy Fuels will ship all or a portion of its RE Carbonate to Neo’s Silmet rare earth separations facility,” Energy Fuels added. “Neo will then process Energy Fuels’ RE Carbonate into separated rare earth materials for use in rare earth permanent magnets and other rare earth-based advanced materials.”